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CSA involvement

Beyond providing general info, CSA sometimes gets involved in cases of academic mistreatment.  

  • Students or parents are welcome to ask questions of CSA, before taking action and while doing so.

  • In some cases, CSA may reach out to professors or university personnel directly.

See below for more info. 

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Asking questions

The most common way to ask CSA a question or seek advice is to:

  • First post your question to your university's subreddit. Reddit is a public discussion forum with anonymous users. You can search for your college or university's sub-forum (called a subreddit) which exists for most universities, otherwise you can post to the general college subreddit:  https://www.reddit.com/r/college/

  • Next, email info@collegestudentadvocates.org with a link to your post and a brief summary. You may include info intentionally omitted from your post (such as professor name).

 

We encourage the Reddit approach because:

  • You may get good input from people at your school before we reply (and we may not be able to reply to everything). And, school professors or staff may see the post and proceed to answer or resolve the issue. 

  • We prefer to reply publicly so more students and professors can benefit. 

A good public post: 

  • Is concise

    • Rewriting helps, each time reducing to get down to the essentials.

  • Sticks to essential facts

    • List the most relevant facts. Don't accuse or make judgements. ​

  • Avoids posting professor names​

    • Posting names could cause ​problems and is usually unnecessary. 

    • Posting the course's department (e.g, Physics) or even the course number (Physics 101), on the other hand, can be helpful.

Of course, there are reasons why you may not wish to post publicly. In this case you are welcome to email us directly. We may not be able to reply to every email, but we'll do our best. 

Note: Any CSA reply or info is considered personal opinion. CSA is not liable for any actions students or others take. 

CSA outreach

In extreme cases, such as mistreatment with severe consequences or which affects many students, CSA may contact university staff. 

  • CSA prefers a gradual-escalation approach for resolving mistreatment. Typically it starts with contacting the professor and department staff (chair, vice-chair, undergrad advisor), and then escalating to school/college staff (dean, assoc. dean), and finally to university staff (vice-chancellor/vice-provost, provost, president/chancellor, student conduct office, and/or dean of students). 

  • CSA's goal is to inform staff and encourage resolution. Often, simply shining a light on the problem is enough to resolve it, as staff are usually unaware and wish to treat their students fairly.  

  • Sometimes just knowing an outside agency is aware of an issue "nudges" staff to take action. 

  • CSA may alert a school's local media of severe unresolved problems as well.

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